A former brickyard may not be the first place one would think to build a golf course, but Old Brickyard Golf Course has succeeded in turning the one-time site of Ferris Brick Company into a fun-and-surprising 6,486-yard layout. By working around three former quarries, the course architect added stark elevation changes and wide-open vistas to the par 71 course. TifEagle greens roll atop land that was once nothing but rugged, natural clay, creating smooth, fast surfaces that make any two-putt a tricky proposition. Before taking to the course, golfers energize with hot dogs and drinks at the clubhouse, warm up swings at the all-grass driving range, or bury time capsules in the practice bunker so they can remember what life was like before their 18-hole rounds.
Course at a Glance:
On Aquaponics and Earth’s sustainable farm, tilapia pools teeming with fish come up against rows of organic plants, which they hydrate via the farm’s energy-efficient growing and waste-recycling system. Founders and aqua-farmers John and Teresa Musser began experimenting with high-yield aquaponics in response to the crushing poverty they saw abroad and invented much of the equipment and methods they use in the search for a sustainable, affordable system they could share with the world. The Mussers have worked around the globe in orphanages and small villages since 1979 but began shifting their focus to infrastructure and education work to bring easy-to-learn agricultural techniques to impoverished areas.
The Mussers maintain their DeSoto farm not only to grow food, but to act as an educational resource for people who want to observe their methods and build their own aquaponics systems. Their organic microfarm, populated by rabbits, goats, microcows, and vermicomposting bins, harvests hundreds of pounds of produce each year on minimal substrate. Inspired by their frantic efforts one year to absorb a surplus of produce, the Mussers lead regular canning classes where students learn the proper ways to can seasonal veggies, meats, and blown kisses.
An autumn harvest fair. A Memorial Day celebration, punctuated by a 21-gun salute. A kids' summer camp complete with archery, swimming, and a meet-and-greet with a friendly raccoon mascot. These are just a few of the events hosted by Grand Prairie Parks & Rec, a department that has garnered a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Its recreational facilities––including a pool with an aquatic climbing wall––and frequent social events bring the city together year round. Under the bright sun or starry skies, visitors can dance at a concert in the park, rather than just dancing to the rhythmic creak of a swing set. For longer excursions, the 791 lakeside acres of Loyd Park feature 221 campsites replete with cabins, picnic areas, and trails. There, visitors can paddle out on the water in a rented kayak, play a game of volleyball, or sleep overnight under the stars.
Real Time Sports & Entertainment, recently under new ownership and management, knows that it takes more than just their delicious burgers and hand-cut fries to keep their customers coming back night after night. They host live bands and DJs seven days a week to keep dance floors filled with partiers well into the night, while 22 high-def screens broadcast sports for excited fans. Meanwhile, bartenders whip up cocktails and pour beers that wash down dishes such as Cajun catfish poboys, turkey burgers, or chicken wings, as guests enjoy conversation and a convivial atmosphere. And no matter the day, the dedicated owners promise real people, a basket of fish with your name on it, and a bottle of ketchup with some guy named Heinz’s name on it.
Ellis County SPCA is a nonprofit organization striving to help homeless or unwanted cats and dogs find permanent, loving homes. Before discovering a four-legged soul mate, interested applicants must complete and flawlessly origami-fold a pre-adoption form to ensure that they and their homes are qualified for pet ownership. Once potential owners are deemed fit and prepared for a pet, they may visit the facility during adoption hours to cuddle and caper around with hairy friends in much the same way death-metal bands bond before each practice. Each adorable quadruped will come home with parvovirus, distemper, and rabies vaccinations, as well as 30 days worth of free vet insurance through ShelterCare.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, a cause-driven organization dedicated to promoting healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility, helps active families forge fit physiques and attain balanced lifestyles with wellness classes, nutrition programs, and trained staff within a positive community atmosphere. The Y offers hundreds of group exercise classes to induce heart-pumping fitness through yoga poses, Pilates, and Zumba dance moves, and 10 outdoor pools and eight indoor pools at select locations allow for low-impact workouts, casual lap swimming, family swimming, and intense Marco Polo matches. Personalized PFP teaches personal-training exercises to those averse to group fitness routines, MEND fights childhood obesity through lessons in nutrition and exercise for children and their families, and YMCA Diabetes Prevention help those at risk maintain healthy lifestyles and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Parents can workout in peace with complimentary drop-in childcare at several branches, and family programs get relatives sweating together through a range of fun, pressure-free activities, alleviating the awkwardness of father-daughter dance lessons or mother-son paintball tourneys. Additional fees may apply for certain YMCA programs.